Friday, July 11, 2014

Gratitude day #8

If you see my kids you will often see that their clothes are either patched, or have holes. Partly this is because I refuse to pay good money for clothing that will only last them a season -  they are growing at a rate of knots! As a result, many of their clothes have been second hand, hand me downs. Partly, this is because my kids are active - they climb, run, ride, crawl - and their activity takes a physical toll of their clothes.

Just yesterday, #1 came home with new holes next to a previous hole I'd sewn up. I was so frustrated, because part of me wishes the kids would take better care of their clothing. But then I got to thinking about it, and realised that, given the choice, I would rather have holes in their clothes than not. 

Oddly, I am grateful for the holes. The holes show both that my kids are not spending every spare moment in front of a screen - they are having something of the childhood I had - and that (at the end of the day) we are not obsessed about material goods. We do not have to have the latest fashion, or branded clothing.

When I look at the number of fat, or obese children, and the increase in childhood obesity, I am pleased that my kids are learning that being physical is healthy as well as fun. If their clothes suffer, well, clothes can be replaced. Fingers and toes, or eyesight, lost through diabetes are not as easy (or cheap) to replace.

When I look at the image-consciousness of children I teach, or those of more wealthy friends and friends, I worry about my kids. I don't want them to be the object of name-calling, teasing or bullying because of their clothes, but at the same time, I don't want my kids to become like those kids. At the moment it is easy for my kids to be oblivious. I know the time will come when they will become aware of their clothes, and then we will need to have that discussion. In the meantime, I don't want them to have to refrain from being kids because I am overly-concerned they will damage clothing that cost the earth to purchase. I want them to know that clothes are just something to cover the body.

I am grateful for these physical reminders that our kids are growing up learning appropriate values - to enjoy physical play and being active; and that clothing does not have to be a status symbol.
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